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Is NoSQL Just for a Small Niche?

NoSQL is not a bad idea, but it fills a pretty small niche. A much smaller niche than I thought before. If you are considering a NoSQL implementation, you should probably satisfy several of the following conditions:

  • willing to develop in house expertise in NoSQL storage, monitoring, backups, analysis, tuning
  • large dataset
  • a lot of unstructured data
  • no schema design

Leaving aside the fact that “niche” can be a subjective term in this context (i.e. is 20% of the companies handling 80% of the data a niche?), these may be valid concerns raised by someone looking at NoSQL.

Every tech shop looking to adopt a new technology that helps them solve a real problem will have to develop some form of in house expertise. Indeed the availability of tools, support and external resources is important.

These days when the quantity of digital data is growing exponentially, trying to control the format of the data seems like an attempt to swim against the river. That’s not to say that structure doesn’t matter, but only that instead of spending time putting order into chaos, we would be better off solving our problems at hand.

Concluding, NoSQL is definitely not a silver bullet and is not here to replace any of the existing technologies and while concerns about new technologies have always existed, it is always useful to have the right tools around.